ADEN (Reuters) - At least six people were killed on Tuesday when a suicide car bomb ripped through a base used by a local security force in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, residents said, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
Dozens of other people, including civilians, were wounded in the attack, which occurred outside a camp used by a local security force organised by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Islamist militants have exploited a civil war that began in 92015 to try to expand their influence and gain a foothold in the impoverished country located in the southern Arabian Peninsula, near the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.
Witnesses described a huge explosion that shook the al-Mansoura district in northern Aden, destroying at least one building and shattering windows in others. A plume of smoke rose over the area.
Ambulances raced to the scene to evacuate the wounded. Pictures circulating on social media showed several young men in military uniform being carried away.
Residents said two suicide bombers carried out the attack. But Islamic state, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said only one bomber was involved and identified him as Abu Hajar al-Adani.
The group said Adani targeted the operations room of the “apostate Security Belt”, destroying it and killing and wounding all those inside it.
Pictures posted on social media showed young men in military uniforms being carried away in bandages.
The Security Belt was set up by the United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis since they advanced on Aden in 2015, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.
The civil war between the Iran-aligned Houthis and the internationally recognised Hadi government has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than two million. The war drags on with no sign that it will end soon.
Tuesday’s attack was the second of its kind in Aden this month. On Nov. 5, a car bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint, killing 15 people and wounding at least 20. Islamic State also claimed responsibility for that assault but provided no evidence it was involved.
Additonal reporting by Mostafa Hashem in Cairo,; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Robert Birsel, Larry King